The first step to establishing a feeding plan for a pregnant dog is to ensure that as a foundation, your dog has a healthy and nutritious regular diet.
At ProDog Raw, we very much believe that a species-appropriate natural raw dog food diet is the best food for a pregnant dog, to ensure that these needs are properly fulfilled. As a dog’s dietary tract has evolved relatively little since it was domesticated from wild wolves, it is best to attempt to mimic what their natural diet would have been.
For the most part, this is raw meat (lean muscle), offal, small amounts of fur and bone, and fruit and vegetables which may have been foraged. Carbohydrates are acceptable, but not in any large quantity has dogs and wolves evolved to primarily gain energy from protein and fat sources. Ideally, this should be as unprocessed as possible, as dogs did not evolve to effectively digest and gain goodness and nutritional value from low grade, intensively processed and refined cooked foods such as kibble.
Increase the relevant proteins
In addition to ensuring that her food is of the highest quality possible, another very useful generic principle for feeding pregnant dogs is ensuring that she is able to eat higher quantities of protein than normal.
Pregnancy involves generating and growing new life, so increased amounts of biologically appropriate protein are important in guaranteeing functions such as normal growth and repair, development of foetal tissue, and growth of breast and uterine tissue. Additional protein will also help increase blood supply to the womb, which is integral to normal and healthy puppy development.
Lean muscle supports growth and repair, while cartilage supports strong joints. Offal (i.e. liver, tripe, hearts, lungs, and kidneys etc.), is also known to support its body part that it originates from. While it is generally desirable to feed your dog a good source of bone for calcium levels, this should ideally be reduced to the point of elimination during a dog’s pregnancy.
As pregnant bitches can be more prone to constipation during the later stages of pregnancy, it is obviously sensible to reduce the risk of a pregnant dog suffering any kind of digestive issues. At ProDog Raw we promote introducing our bone-free meal option when necessary.